Spring Cleaning

Ah, spring is in the air! I’ve seen several robins and they always signal spring’s arrival.  This week I was working with a client and she said to me “Even though this room (with toys) is picked up now, it still looks messy!”  We had a laugh because “neat” and “kids” are often opposites, but there are a few things you can do to neaten up your kid’s spaces.

First, do annual clean outs.  Yes, go through all the toys and donate all those that aren’t age appropriate anymore or your kids don’t play with.  This is a great activity to do with your kids, especially if they know their toys are going to a local church, shelter or child you sponsor somewhere in the world.

Second, don’t have all your toys out at one time.  Invest in some boxes and a storage space (cabinets or a shelving unit) where you can hide about half of their toys on a regular basis.  A garage or storage shed outside is a fine place to store them. Monthly or even weekly you can switch the toys around taking them out of the long-term storage box and putting them in your playtime storage boxes and containers.

Third, have boxes and containers to put your kids toys away at the end of the day.  It teaches them discipline and care for their things and helps you keep the house a little neater.  There are lots of options at the Container Store that both store stuff well and look nice, and Amazon always has some good options too.

Fourth, have one or two play places/storage spaces for the kids in the house. By limiting where toys are kept, you’ll limit the mess. If they bring their toys to another area of the house, they must clean those toys up by the end of the day.

Finally, think long term.  Although many things aren’t made as well as they used to be, try purchasing items that can be used for their toys, their projects, their books, their homework and their creativity from pre-school through high school.

What do you do to keep your kids organized and contain the mess?

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